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How To Shoot a Pistol


Learning to shoot is a serious journey to embark on and shouldn’t be taken as a game, once you’ve started. And, any bad habits established early must be overcome for a new shooter to reach his or her potential says, Dick Jones in, The Beginning Pistol Shooter. He explains that the most common problems new shooters experience are an involuntary response to the noise and recoil of the gun. Therefore, it’s always beneficial to understand the basics of shooting a pistol.

What do the pros have to say? Tips from pro shooter Rob Leatham gives you some those basics. Some include holding the gun firmly with your proper grip, align the sights on the target, place the center of the first pad of trigger finger on the trigger, etc. And, many pistol models come with sights that can be adjusted to change the point of impact. Transitioning to your stance can mean a variety of styles; all positions aren’t for everyone. However, the Isosceles Stance is the most natural two-hand stance a shooter can use. Face the target with your feet spread shoulder-width apart, and bring the gun up directly in front of the eyes with a two-handed grip and both arms at full extension. This will keep the head upright with maximum peripheral vision while centering the pistol with the eyes.

To close….. and to stir the pot a little. When shooting a pistol, professionals believe there is a difference that exists between bullseye marksmanship and tactical shooting. The fundamentals are correct but how they are utilized is debatable. We will let you decide for yourself, but just so you’re aware, bullseye shooting is on a flat range with a small bullseye-style target set at a specific distance. And, the tactical shooting is an acceptable sight picture given the length to their intended target and engages that target with multiple rounds quickly and efficiently.

Basic steps:

Step 1

Choose a handgun and ammo. There are many handguns available with a seemingly infinite amount of ammunition options. Please consider your body, hand size, and purpose of your handgun. WikiHow states that you should avoid buying a high-caliber gun. Instead, a small reliable gun like a .22 should be the better option. You can contact us any time for recommendations.

Step 2

Get gear to protect your eyes and ears. Also, KEEP YOUR EYE OPEN. To protect you against any noise of the gunshots, get headphone-style ear protection and earplugs.

Step 3

The Handgun: Always keep the handgun pointed downrange and be aware of all safety consideration while at the range. Also, since you’re first starting out, you may struggle to pull the slide back, especially if the handgun has a strong spring or your hands are sweaty. So if you must use the palm of your hand to pull back the slide, turn your body sideways to the weapon and keep it pointed down range. Use your strong hand.

Step 4

When it comes to holding the gun, ALWAYS check to see if it is loaded. Not doing so, can lead to severe damage to property, injury or even death. So be alert and have that routine embedded in your brain. Then pick up the gun, keeping your trigger your finger outside of the trigger guard. Make sure it’s extended straight and flat on the side of the guard. Hold your weapon in the firing-ready position: open your dominant hand to expose the webbing between your index finger and thumb. Taking the pistol in your other hand, insert the grip (handle) of the gun into the web of your dominant hand. With your thumb on one side of the grip, keep your middle, ring, and pinky fingers curled securely around the other side just below the trigger guard.

Step 5

Firing the gun: when shooting, be sure to control your breathing. Before firing, hold your breath and calm your body. Then, pull the trigger.

Step 6

Follow through. Once the gun fires, don’t release the trigger right away. Be still. Let go of the trigger after you’ve taken a breath and prepare for the next shot!

For a more detailed lesson on shooting a pistol – Whether you’re a beginner or well-seasoned. Join us at our Concealed Carry Training Course! Basic Safety and Awareness, Pistol Knowledge and Safe Gun Handling, Selecting and Maintaining Your Pistol and much more.   

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